Wrekmeister Harmonies Give A Master Class in Unorthodox Heaviness

Striking a balance between pitch black Nick Cave-esque crooning, expansive Swans-y dissonance*, and a transcendentalist, heterodox approach to composition and instrumentation that calls to mind the simmering moments of mid-era Neurosis, on The Alone Rush Wrekmeister Harmonies — now pared down to the “core duo” of JR Robinson and Esther Shaw — deliver an intense, bold, harrowing reinterpretation of the band’s already intense, bold, harrowing essence.

Given proper time and attention, it is a transporting, space/time refracting listen.

Ahead of the album’s release this Friday via Thrill Jockey, Decibel reached out to Wrekmeister to get a sense of some of the touchstones that helped inform the heavier end of this iconoclastic work…

From JR Robinson:
Sixx — Sister Devil

Shortly after the release of Satantic Blood the members of Von did a total about face and released this record and the stripped down aesthetic of it was astounding. Loses none of the darkness and is some weird marriage of kraut rock and when I would play Sisters of Mercy LP’s at the wrong speed.

Scott Walker — Tilt

I heard this record for the first time in the late 90’s when I was younger and thought I knew everything. I clearly didn’t and this record opened up a whole new world to me. The first track “Farmer in the City” was the most ominous and beautiful thing and has resonated with me ever since.

From Esther Shaw:
John Luther Adams — Become Ocean

This song is one long track that beautifully and organically grows and swells for over forty minutes. It can be calming, absorbing, and overwhelming all at the same time. It was inspired by the oceans of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest where John Luther Adams spent many years of his life in isolation. It reminds me of how we felt in Astoria.

Ariel Kalma — An Evolutionary Music: Original Recordings 1972-1979

Minimalist and meditative with the use of keyboards, saxophone, chanting, recordings, etc. to create layer upon layer. The many different elements and styles really create some amazing textures. I thought about this album a lot when we were working on “Forgive Yourself and Let Go.”

* Makes sense — Swans drummer Thor Harris appears on the record!